If you’re a parent and ministry worker, you know how hard it can be to juggle the responsibilities of family and church. On one hand, you have your church family who looks to you for spiritual guidance and wisdom, and on the other, you have your family at home who needs their parent’s attention, love, and support.
At times, the Lord may call you to do brave and courageous things such as planting a church in a new city, far, far away from home. Or leaving your church familiarity to help launch a new campus in an unfamiliar location. Question is, how do you make the decision to go, and if you do, what effect will this have on your children?
Growing up, my family moved around quite a bit due to my father’s job. I can recollect several “end of the world” meltdowns as a young child all the way through early adolescence. What may seem like a logical and even noble decision as a parent does not always appear that way to a child. Looking back at my experience, I am grateful. Though I did not always enjoy the constant moving around, the lessons I learned along the way are invaluable.
The truth of the matter is that moving can be hard on children, but it can be beneficial for them, too.
For those who are moving their families due to ministry callings, such as church planting and launching a multisite campus, there is a great opportunity to plant a foundational understanding of what it means to be on mission for a Kingdom cause.
What effects does church planting have on kids?
We recently received this question from Joshua Maciel on our NewChurches.com Plus Membership Community on Facebook. In addition to getting full access to the ready-to-use resources, behind-the-scenes content, and Q&A webinars from leadership, multisite, and church planting experts, our Plus Members are also invited into an exclusive community of over 200 multipliers where you can get advice, wisdom, and prayer at any time.
Soon after Josh had posted his question, he received several responses from experienced planters who had similar concerns when they were moving their families. Many of them gave some extremely helpful and beneficial advice to Josh, as well as anyone else who is considering moving their families to plant a church or launch a new campus.
Here are some of the pieces of wisdom our Plus Members shared.
Cast a vision for your children.
One of our members shared how he cast a vision for his kids first. He invited them into the conversation and mission. He said, “They all bought in, got excited, and took on responsibilities.” Helping them understand why you are making the move is far more important than the what, when, and how.
Disciple your children before your church.
Planting a church or launching a campus is an honorable calling, but before you can care for the flock at church, you must care for those in your household. Help your kids see that you are doing this together and you need them just as much as they need you. By allowing them to serve alongside you, you are creating little disciples who have a deep sense and understanding of God’s mission and call.
Another member, Todd Korpi, wrote how church planting has engrained in his children a fundamental understanding of the church as a missional people, and taught them how serving is a foundational attribute of the Christian life.
“Start a youth out on his way;
even when he grows old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Church planting can be a blessing to a family.
If God is calling your family to plant a church, it can be a great blessing to your kids. Planting is not for everyone, but if you are considering it, do so thoughtfully and prayerfully.
Published May 27, 2017